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Volleyball bounces RF

Senior setter Becca Woitas (1) celebrates after a kill by teammate Serena Schultz for a point in the second game of the Raiders' 3-2 victory at River Falls last Thursday.

Follow up with 3rd place showing at Mora Invite

The Raider volleyball team held off River Falls for a 3-2 victory on the Wildcats' home court last Thursday before finishing third at the Mora, Minn., Invitational Saturday.

Hudson will conclude the regular season with a nonconference match at Baldwin-Woodville Thursday, Oct. 11, before beginning WIAA regional play next week.

Last Thursday at River Falls, the Raiders took the first two games, 25-20, 25-17, before dropping the next two, 18-25, 13-25, They came back strong in the fifth and deciding game to post a 15-10 victory and improve to 3-2 in Big Rivers Conference play.

"We started the match out very well, playing with a lot of energy and really controlling the action throughout most of the first two sets," head coach Dennis Saathoff said. "In sets three and four River Falls began to serve better and we stopped being aggressive in our passing approach which resulted in our inability to get good swings at the ball."

Saathoff said the Raiders' hitting percentage rose to .600 in the fifth and deciding set and the team made just one service error to clinch the match.

Hannah Ross led the Raider offense with 12 kills while Mariah Hallen contributed nine. Serena Schultz had six kills and three blocks and Melissa Hammer had five kills and one bock while Taylor Steffen finished with four kills.

Setters Becca Woitas and Brooke Little had similar statistics, with Woitas finishing with 20 assists and six service aces and Little adding 19 assists and two aces.

Defensively, Hannah Wirth led the team with 17 digs and 23 service receptions while Baylie Martin posted 11 service receptions, one dig and two assists.

Saturday the Raiders went 3-1 to capture third place at the Mora Invitational. Hudson opened round robin play with a 25-20, 27-25 win over Providence and defeated Legacy 25-7, 25-12. In the playoff round the Raiders dropped a 12-25, 14-25 decision to North Branch before beating Pierz, 25-21, 25-18 in the third place match.

Hannah Cook paced Hudson in their win over Providence with eight kills and no hitting errors while Hammer and Schultz recorded five kills each.

The Raiders displayed a balanced attack against Legacy, with Ross, Cook and Elizabeth Kotoski all playing the match without a service error.

Hammer was the only Raider hitter to have much success in the loss to North Branch with seven kills and a .545 hitting percentage. Little had five set assists while Martin finished with 14 service receptions.

"For the first time this year we did not record a service ace," Saathoff noted. "This was a frustrating match because this didn't look like the same team I have been watching from the sideline all season."

The Raiders bounced back nicely to defeat Pierz, with Cook recording 10 kills and an ace and Schultz and Hammer finishing with five kills each. Steffen had two solo blocks and Woitas had 17 set assists while Wirth had 12 defensive digs.

"This was a positive finish to our tournament play this season," Saathoff said.